Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Thoughts

I've been thinking about a few things recently. Okay, so I'm always thinking of some things, but these are a bit more profound. Thoughtful thinkings, most of which did not come from my own pondering but from someone else's or from circumstances I've found myself in recently.

One is that I have heard many messages on the coming judgment recently. The Day of the Lord. Back in the day when I was going through trying times of doubting my salvation, these sermons would have terrified me but now, although they still bring thoughts of terror, for those I know that don't know God, they have also brought much comfort and peace and joy as I look at what Jesus has done for me and in me. It has also made the fact that the day in which I will stand before God all the more real to me. It is coming. The day where I will be face to face with Him. This was driven home even more in another situation. My friend's mom has cancer, and she has been told that she will most likely die within six months. I don't know why, but for some reason, like never before, I was struck by the thought of what it would be like to know for sure that you were about to see God. I think it's a joyful and a bit scary thought at the same time. Emily and I were talking about how we don't come close to understanding God's holiness, and if we were to see Him now, we would understand to a far greater depth, our own sinfulness, as Isaiah did in Isaiah 6. But we have the amazing comfort of knowing that because of Christ, we'll be seen as righteous! That is so amazing!

So that's one thing I've been thinking about. It leads to many other thoughts but I'll stop there on that one. A similar one is the following. Yesterday I went to a funeral. (That's three now within the last few months. I realized I've been to more funerals than weddings recently.) A few of you readers (oh wait, there are only a few of you anyway) may have known Jim Richardson. He was a part of Gracelife at Grace Community Church and he worked at The Master's College. His is the funeral that I went to yesterday. As everyone said that was there, Jim was a faithful, friendly, godly man. His wife said that God was faithful to give her just the right man necessary to help grow her in her love for God. It wasn't too long ago that I saw Jim's face, and to think that now he is gazing into his Savior's face is so mind-blowing to me!

Yeah, so all in all, these things together have made me think more and long more for heaven and being with God.

The other thing that I have been thinking about is something that Jeremy told me the other day. He was quoting what Rick Holland said on Sunday, that we need to start looking at people as souls with bodies rather than bodies with souls. Or something to that effect. Man! How often I am guilty of this, and how often I fall into thinking that our bodies or outside is what is most important. And it may be the case to a lot of people. Well, to most. Because God tells us that man looks at the outside but God looks at the heart. I spend so much time caring for the outside. When really, what is the significance? Our outside only reveals so much of the inside. Maybe on whether we're worshipping food or money or our own pride and self. But really, a love for the Lord, a love for others, and other spiritual qualities, down to the more mundane such as a sense of humor or fun loving spirit have nothing to do with what a person looks like. Anyway, I'm rambling now, but it's been good to think about.

Friday, October 17, 2008

"You look different..."

Today I woke up late and I very much dislike waking up late. Especially if I didn't take care of my hair the night before, which is, most mornings. Well, I decided to still take a shower and try to dry my hair, but by the time I was done eating breakfast, there was just no time. So, I did it, I went curly. This happened to be the first day I wore my hair curly to school. I received varied responses from the Kindergarteners.

Lily: "I like your hair today, Miss Taylor."
Kathleen: "Me too!"

Nathan: "Miss Taylor, why do you look different?"

Julie: "What happened to your hair, Miss Taylor? It looks all wiggly-wiggly!"

Natalie: "Your hair looks like Sara's! Why is it curly?" (After I asked her if she liked it...with a shy smile) "It looks funny."

And my personal favorite.

Jonathan: "It looks like octopus feet!"

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Kute Kindergarteners

(Yes, I know that's not how you spell cute, but in Kindergarten it doesn't exactly matter yet. :0)

Well, I was the last person who ever thought I would love Kindergarten, but I do. What started out as a trial to me is now a great blessing in my life. I love each of them and I am learning so much as I try, by God's grace, to teach them about Him and about loving each other and about math and reading. So I'm going to write a little bit about each one. I may or may not finish in one post. So, if you don't want to hear about Kindergarteners, than you don't have to continue reading. I'm gong to go by number instead of name, to protect the young and innocent. :0)

#1 is my little playground friend. He stands and talks to me during recess and tells me the funniest things. Almost every day I say, "So what are you going to tell me about today, #1?" Yesterday he told me about the seasons; spring, snowy, and fall. He says that the one weather we don't have is Christmas because it never snows. He loves to talk and he is smart.

#2 gives me hugs and kisses me on the stomach since that's as high as she can reach and she calls me "My Miss Taylor." She gave me my first and only drawing that I have gotten from a Kindergartener. All the boys have crushes on her.

#3 has a crush on all the boys. She's a bit of a drama queen but she is sweet.

#4 is a handful and he has the biggest eyes. If he's in trouble he looks up at me and I have a hard time being upset. He's the oldest and one of the smallest and he likes to tell me things. All the time.

#5 is a cutie. One of the first weeks of school he told me that I had beautiful shoes on. He's a smartie too. He and #3 get along really well.

#6 cracks me up. She doesn't even mean to be funny but she is. She calls me Miss Taywor and she likes to do whatever she wants to. So she is often in trouble too. She's a tomboy but wears a dress almost every day.

#7 is a sweetheart. She is the crier. I'm pretty sure she thinks that boys have cooties. She cried once because #4 kept saying hi to her.

#9 (yes, I know, I skipped #8 because he left) was very shy at first but she finally opened up. Now she doesn't stop singing or swinging my arms or pretending to be my shadow at recess.

#10 tells everyone what to do. But she is so cute and she wants to do the right thing. She's overly ambitious but a scaredy cat at the same time. I was seriously just as excited as she was when she finally made it down the firepole in the playground by herself.

#11 is actually the definition of sweet and shy. She loves to give hugs and I don't think she's hardly ever mean to anyone.

#12 is tiny and way more outgoing than you would think by looking at her. She got the first good citizenship award and she'll bring me and Miss Nelson random presents. She brings them randomly and they, in themselves, are random. She has the tiniest, cutest voice.

#13 just melts my heart. I REALLY have a hard time disciplining him. He has a slight speech impediment and stutters when he's in trouble and he's missing a lot of teeth. All these things make him all the more adorable. He likes to try and share his snacks with me. He often pretends to be a monster on the playground and kinda hiss/growls at people. So cute! Just believe me.

#14 says everything in the form of a yell. He couldn't whisper if he tried. He talks no matter how many times he has to change his star. But he's cute.

#15 can have a temper. But he is hilarious. He's a cuddle bug and he says the funniest stuff. He told me himself that he's a handful. He also told me this morning that his mom's eyeballs are bigger. He likes to say "See you later, alligator." I will soon devote a post to quotes I have from him.

#16 reminds me exactly of the Peanuts character, Peppermint Patty. So much so, that I call her Peanut. She pulls the crusts off her sandwich every day. She likes to whine but she's so cute it makes even her whining sounds cute. She trips and falls all the time. I think she's going to have permanent scars on her knees.

#17 is kind of in his own world. It took him forever to stop calling me "Teacher." And then it took another forever for him to call me "Miss Taylor" instead of "Miss Nelson." But he's adorable and gives me a lot of hugs too.

#18 looks like the kind that would be quiet and obedient, and he is at least half of the time, but he surprises me often. He always hugs me around the legs because he's so tiny. I haven't quite figured him out yet.

#19 is adorable too. His mannerisms are very mature. But he's also very energetic and goofy. At recess he likes to hold the walkie talkie for me and pretend that he's on patrol. He helps me look out for bad guys. He takes it very seriously. I told him that he could tell others not to run in the little playground. One day he put his arm around #16 and told her in a low voice, "Do you remember, you're not supposed to run in here? Only outside."

#20 and I haven't exactly hit it off yet. He's a bit in his own world too. But he's sweet and I can always count on him to walk to the bathroom and back without messing around.

#21 does his own thing too. He gets in trouble a lot. But he is super smart. He loves to learn and loves to tell me the things he's learning. I was playing "rock, paper, scissors" with him after school and he pointed out that there was a pattern in who was winning and losing. There's a special little place in my heart for him.

#22 makes me laugh too. She is one of the tallest girls in the class and she and #2 have wars I think about who loves me more. When #2 gave me the picture she drew, #22 came and gave me a hug and then told #2, "Well I just gave her a hug!" She always has fun hair things in her hair. When she and another friend fight she acts like Anne of Green Gables and sticks her nose in the air. But most of the time she is very sweet and funny.

Well, that's the last one. Kindergarten is so fun.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Savior

It sometimes shocks me when I think deeply, long and hard, about how unthankful I am most of the time for salvation. It is an ASTOUNDING thing that God would send His Son to suffer and die for MY sin. Then I am counted as righteous, and I didn't DO anything. John MacArthur preached a sermon on Jesus' true suffering on the cross on Sunday. I told Emily that it goes on my list of Top Ten sermons by him. It just hit me in a way that hasn't before. He was telling us how Jesus suffered both the presence and abandonment of God, on the cross. The presence and abandonment that we would have experienced in hell. God's wrathful presence was made clear in the three hour darkness that started at high noon that day. Then, he was saying that when the darkness ended, Jesus might have expected to experience the immediate comfort of God, but instead He shouted out, "My God, my God, why have You forsaken Me?" That's what I deserved to experience, and yet I don't have to. I hardly ever sit and think of what hell would be like. I used to, but I haven't in a long time. To think that Jesus is my SAVIOR. I was thinking yesterday of times I have thought I was close to death or at least serious injury and then someone either helped me swim to the surface of the pool or caught me before I fell, and I, out of utter thankfulness said, "You SAVED me!" A feeling of utter relief! We know that relief and peace because Jesus paid the price. He truly is a WONDERFUL Savior!

Thursday, October 02, 2008

We Will Be Like Him!

1 John 3:1-3
See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God's children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.

1 Peter 1:3-9
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith - more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire - may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

I think that these are my new favorite passages in the Bible. To know that God loves us in a way that He would make us His children! And in John 17, Jesus says that the Father loves us the same way He loves Christ, if we know Him! And that one day we will be like Him!

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